By Francis Onyeukwu
The Police Command in Anambra have released names of nine U.S. Consulate personnel from Lagos involved in Tuesday’s brutal attack which claimed seven lives at Ogbaru area of the state.
Mr Echeng Echeng, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra made the disclosure at a news conference at the command’s headquarters in Amawbia on Thursday.
Echeng listed the persons as; Jefferson Obayuwane, Sunday Prince Ubong, Ekene Nweke, Hassan Etila, Avwuvie Kaye Monday, Bukar. A. Kabuiki, Emmanuel Lukpata, Friday Morgan, and Adamu Andrew.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that out of the number, seven were killed and set ablaze in their vehicles, while two were kidnapped.
Echeng said the deceased included men from Squadron 23, Police Mobile Force Lagos, Inspectors Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew and Emmanuel Lupata.
The CP said that security operatives had arrested two persons in connection with the crime and were now helping in investigations on the matter.
Echeng said joint security forces comprising, police tactical teams, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Navy raided a camp in Ogwuanaocha community of Ogbaru, which was suspected to be the hideout of the assailants on Wednesday May 17 but discovered that it had been deserted.
The personnel of Lagos Consulate of the U. S. and their police escorts were ambushed on May 16, between 12 noon and 2 pm along Atani/Osamala road in Ogbaru after assessment tour of erosion ravaged communities.
Echeng blamed the attack on members of suspected Eastern Security Network ESN and proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) adding that efforts were on to track the location of the gunmen.
“Information about the incident was received by the police command in Anambra , through an official of the consulate, at about 2:30 pm on Tuesday.
“Consequently, a joint team of Mobile Policemen and troops of the Nigerian Navy stationed in Onitsha was immediately deployed to the area.
“Upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the joint security team sighted and engaged the assailants in a shoot-out but they escaped through a nearby forest,’’ he said.
Giving more details, he said further preliminary investigation by the command revealed that five male officials of the U.S. consulate and four armed Mobile Police escorted from Lagos were on a mission to assess the impact of erosion in Ogbaru before they were ambushed.
“Regrettably, seven persons including three of the consulate officials and four Mobile Police escorts were murdered during the attack while two other officials of the consulate are yet to be found.
“The deceased police officers include; Bukar Adams, Friday Morgan, Adam Andrew and Emmanuel Lupata,’’ he said.
Echeng said the remains of the deceased persons had been recovered and deposited in a morgue while the state police command and other security agencies were working round-the-clock with the Anambra government to rescue the missing officials.
He appealed to the public to provide information about the identities and locations of the culprits, to assist the police.
Echeng also condoled with families and friends of the deceased persons as well as the U.S. consulate over the tragic incident. (NAN)